KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 29): The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) convicted eight individuals in the third quarter of this year for fraudulent withdrawals to buy properties .
According to EPF, the eight were charged under Section 59 of EPF Act 1991 and fined a collectively RM15,850 by courts. The convicted members may face a jail term of up to 10 months if they fail to pay the fine.
In a statement today, EPF corporate affairs head Nik Affendi Jaafar said six court summons were being filed against members for fraudulent withdrawals for the period.
"The EPF has a comprehensive system in place to detect any fraudulent withdrawals or attempts to make fraudulent withdrawals even after the savings have been successfully withdrawn," Nik Affendi said.
Fraudulent withdrawal, which involves the submission of falsified documents by members to facilitate the approval of withdrawal from their own EPF accounts, is an offence under the EPF Act 1991.
Under the Act, members found guilty of fraudulent withdrawal are liable to a maximum jail sentence of three years or RM10,000 fine, or both.
He said members who return the illegally withdrawn amount within six months from the conviction date will only be allowed to apply for the same withdrawal two years from the date the amount is returned.
"Those who fail to return the money will lose their right to make the same withdrawal in the future. We have a comprehensive system to detect and identify members who have made fraudulent withdrawals even after the savings are successfully withdrawn," he added.
Nik Affendi said the EPF views fraudulent withdrawal as a serious offence and will not hesitate to take stern actions against members withdrawing their retirement savings via fraudulent means
"Members, particularly those who are in need of cash, are reminded to be vigilant over advertisements on several websites or agents who distribute business cards and flyers offering services to assist members to withdraw their EPF savings," he said.
"The EPF does not appoint or endorse any third party to facilitate members' application for withdrawals," said Nik Affendi, adding that members who wish to make any withdrawals from their account can deal directly with the EPF which offers withdrawal services free of charge.